RAW: Cabaret Fringe – La Chevre Noir – La Boheme – 4K

La Chevre Noir is a struggling Parisian cabaret club. Celeste (Sidonie Henbest) has been left to keep it afloat while her sister Gigi (Catherine Campbell) runs off to South America and Jaques (Jamie Jewell) is gallivanting around the Alps in the Tour de France. She has been less than successful in this and has received notice that the club will be closed. Reunited, can the three proprietors find a way to save their club or will this be their closing show?

This is classic cabaret, with great singers, a mixture of soulful and cheeky songs, a vague storyline to string it all together and over-the-top characters to inject humourous banter in the spaces between songs. It was well-balanced, with new and old, well-known and more obscure pieces, class and cliché – the Moulin Rouge does make an appearance but in a way that was appropriate and hilarious rather than tired and overdone. The three singers are skilfully supported by Christopher Martin on the piano, who adds an air of decorum to the evening while still getting in on the frivolity.

This group of performers are well known locally and thrive on stage, both as a trio and individually. Henbest is a delectably pouty Celeste and is matched well by Campbell as her strong-willed but less responsible sister, creating a fun quarrelsome relationship between the two. Jewell shows his skills as both a comic and a vocalist, achieving a pleasing tone reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright.

This is a fine example of good, locally produced, cabaret.

Kryztoff rating: 4K

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